Japanese government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday said Taiwan is an important Japanese partner and that relations between Taiwan and Japan remain unchanged after Saturday’s meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Suga made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on the Ma-Xi meeting.
Suga said that the Japanese government has long hoped that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can peacefully resolve any problems through a direct dialogue.
Japan also hopes that future interactions between the two sides can be conducive to regional peace and stability and that it would be on the lookout for any changes following the meeting, Suga added.
Suga said that Taiwan and Japan share common values and have a close economic partnership and given their mutual trust, Taiwan-Japan relations remain unchanged.
The Japanese government is also to continue to monitor the issue of the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in the East China Sea, Suga said.
The US Department of State welcomed the Ma-Xi meeting, while Japan said that cross-strait relations should be handled peacefully by both sides of the Strait.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
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